I am writing to you to add my voice to those who are urging you and the city of Vancouver to act quickly and decisively in order to preserve the Marpole area home lived in by Joy Kogawa, the author of "Obasan", and her family prior to their internment during World War II. The availability of this historica home, currently on the real etate market provides a wonderful opportunity for the city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia to take immediately action to ensure that this house will be preserved as an historic site for all Canadians. If this one home, out of all those taken away from Japanese Canadians during the dark period of internment, could be returned to all the people of Canada, the act would be symbolic and powerful indeed.
I have been involved in the Centre for Christian Studies, a national theological school, for many years and am currently writing a history of that institution and its predecessors. Several of our graduates worked with the Japanese Canadians who were forced to leave their homes during World War II. Their stories about that time were made even more poignant after my reading "Obasan". I believe that Ms Kogowa's book is the most well-known story of that infamous time in Canadian history and the saving of the Kogowa family home in which the story of many of our Canadian citizens of Japanese heritage could be told would be extremely important.
I urge you and your colleagues of the Vancouver City Council to preserve this home as a visible reminder of this important part of our Canadian history, so that what happened to those affected by the forced evacuation will not be forgotten by generations to come.